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The correlation between stress and economic crisis: a systematic review

Authors Mucci N, Giorgi G, Roncaioli M, Fiz Perez J, Arcangeli G

Received 17 October 2015

Accepted for publication 22 January 2016

Published 21 April 2016 Volume 2016:12 Pages 983—993


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Nicola Mucci,1 Gabriele Giorgi,2 Mattia Roncaioli,3 Javier Fiz Perez,2 Giulio Arcangeli1

1Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, Florence, 2Department of Psychology, European University of Rome, Rome, 3Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health, University of Milan, Milan, Italy

Abstract: In 2008 a deep economic crisis started in the US and rapidly spread around the world. The crisis severely affected the labor market and employees’ well-being. Hence, the aim of this work is to implement a systematic review of the principal studies that analyze the impact of the economic crisis on the health of workers. We conducted our search on the PubMed database, and a total of 19 articles were selected for review. All studies showed that the economic crisis was an important stressor that had a negative impact on workers’ mental health. Most of the studies documented that a rise in unemployment, increased workload, staff reduction, and wages reduction were linked to an increased rate of mood disorders, anxiety, depression, dysthymia, and suicide. Some studies showed that problems related to the crisis may have also affected the general health of workers by increasing the risk of such health problems as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Finally, some studies looked at the impact of the crisis on health care services. These studies demonstrated that the reduction in public expenditure on health care services, and the reduction of public hospital budgets due to the recession, led to organizational problems (eg, medical supply shortages).

Keywords: economic crisis, recession, work-related stress, mental health, risks assessment, occupational medicine

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